James Hampton Duncan

May 2, 1925 - January 5, 2011
James Hampton Duncan


Mr. James Hampton Duncan, 85, of Sunset Beach, NC died Wednesday, January 5, 2011. The son of the late Arthur Lee Duncan and the late Bessie McCollum Duncan he was born in Reidsville, North Carolina on May 2, 1925.

Jim enrolled in the USN V-12 program at Duke University, but quickly enlisted into active duty, spending 15 months in Okinawa. After returning from Japan, he enrolled at Wake Forest University and played college football. As a member of the Demon Deacon football squad, he earned All Southern Conference honors in his final three seasons. It was also at Wake Forest that he met his future bride, Miss Elizabeth (Lib) Hellen.

After graduation he played professional football for six years with the NFL’s New York Giants. He served as team Co-Captain during the 1954 and 1955 seasons before an injury ended his playing career. In 1960, after a brief stint as the Executive Director of the Wake Forest Deacon Club, he became the Head Coach of the Appalachian State Mountaineer football team, in Boone, NC. After five years (1960-1964) at the helm of the ASU program, he headed north to the Canadian Football League, where he served as an Assistant Coach for the Saskatchewan Roughriders for four years (1965-1968) and the Head Coach of the Calgary Stampeders for five years (1969-1973). In 1971, his Stampeder squad won the Grey Cup, the championship of the CFL. In 1974, Jim returned with his family to North Carolina, embarking on a new career in sporting goods sales. After many years in sales, he became a Class “A” PGA Golf Professional, working until his retirement as the Head Golf Professional at Morehead City Country Club in Morehead City, NC. His athletic career earned him induction into North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, the Wake Forest University Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Appalachian State University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Jim is survived by his wife of 59 years, Elizabeth (Lib) Hellen Duncan of Sunset Beach, NC; one sister, Glenda Caudill (Ronnie) of Lexington, NC; one daughter, Suzanne Stahl (Andy Hogg) of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; two sons, James H. Duncan, Jr. (Sara) of Wilmington, NC & Lee B. Duncan (Laura) of Irmo, SC; and seven grandchildren: Stuart Stahl, Sean Stahl, Angela Smyth, Ali Duncan, Lauren Duncan, Caroline Duncan, and Lee Duncan, Jr.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 15, 2011 at Wilmington Funeral & Cremation in Wilmington, NC at 12 noon. A reception will be held at the home of Mr. & Mrs. James H. Duncan Jr. immediately following the service.

The family extends thanks to the staff of Clare Bridge Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Community in Wilmington, NC, and to the NFL Management Council and the NFLPA for establishing and maintaining the 88 Plan Dementia Benefits Program.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Jim Duncan to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Ave., 7th fl., New York, NY 10001.

Please share memories and condolences by clicking on the “Sign Guest Book” tab above.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099


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  • January 17, 2011
    Phillip G. Carawan says:
    My deepest condolences to the Duncan family. Some of my first memories of golf include Mr. Duncan and Buzz at "the club" every summer day throughout my whole childhood. Mr.Duncan was always a larger than life figure to me. I remember him asking me all summer one year "boy can you hit that 3 wood over the pond on 18 yet?" He will be sorely missed. I will charish those memories forever. Sincerly, Phillip Carawan

  • January 09, 2011
    Ron Stevenson says:
    Jim, Lee and the entire Duncan family. I just wanted you guys to know Harriet and are praying for you during these most difficult times. I knew your father very well and he was the consumate gentelman and PGA Golf Professional. He was one to always have a great story and I thouroughly enjoyed listening to his old football/sports stories. He now walks the greatest of all fairways as looks down on his wonderful family. May God Bless you all and comfort you through the days ahead. Ron & Harriet Stevenson PGA

  • February 01, 2011
    Brian Baker says:
    I was catching up on the Leader Post when I saw Mr. Duncan's obituary. Please accept my condolences. My message is to Suzanne in particular. I am an avid Rider fan and many a time as I sat at Taylor Field I have wondered where life led you. I am hopeful, that other than for your loss, life is treating you well. Brian Baker Birchwood School Regina

  • January 09, 2011
    Maureen & Don Snyder says:
    This is a voice from your past in Regina. We lived on Hawthorne Cresc. and Lib played bridge with our ladies group. We have thought of you often and have several fond memories of your family. Some of these are: hanging your clothes on the line with oven mitts on your hands because it was so cold, interpreting your pronunciation of the oilman's bonspiel to the other bridge players, the street sign being changed to Jim Duncan Way after the Riders won the Grey Cup in 1966, and finally our daughter Laura and your son Lee were in the same class at school, also Lee's pronunciation of Regina by replacing the R with a V. Our sincere condolensces to you and your family on Jim's passing. Maureen and Don Snyder

  • January 09, 2011
    Joyce Prichard says:
    Miss Duncan, I was saddened to read of your husband passing.